Client demanding RAW files. Now what?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Lauren Fitzgerald, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. Lauren Fitzgerald

    Lauren Fitzgerald TPF Noob!

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    I took a client last month who signed my standard photography agreement, which is $100 for a 2-hour session which includes online proofs and a $25 credit toward purchases of prints, etc. So I get an e-mail from the husband last week that he just assumed a CD of all the high resolution images came with the sitting fee and that he could not afford my print prices. Now he is insisting I sell him all of my RAW images for $100 because he cannot afford my prints. He said it was his wife's mistake to hire me and he never would have used my services if he'd known what my prices are.

    I am very competitive for my area and no one I know gives away 50+ RAW images for $100. I personally don't want to give him the RAW images because he knows nothing about photography and will probably butcher the photos. He is obviously not going to be a repeat customer since he doesn't like my prices, but my feeling is that if he didn't look at my price list before he hired me, then there is no room for negotiation at this point. He says he wants the images so he can print them at Walmart where it's cheap. (I personally don't want my work printed at Walmart, but that's another story.) I have told him three times I never sell RAW images but I would gladly sell him a CD of high resolution jpegs at my standard rate.

    Anyway, he is now bullying me and claiming he is too poor and has to have the RAW photos. I am beside myself. How many times can I say "no" before he stops this. What do you guys do?
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Don't do it.

    If they can't afford you, they should have shopped around more.
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Tell him, "I'm sorry that you cannot afford my services, but my prices are what they are. They are not flexible."
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Hang onto your RAW files. It's not your fault he didn't read your agreement.

    Point out that Wal-Mart is cheap because the don't sell images. All they sell is paper and a bit of ink.

    I would contact the authorities if he is being verbally abusive, that could constitute assault.

    Say no as many times as it takes.
     
  5. Lauren Fitzgerald

    Lauren Fitzgerald TPF Noob!

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    He's not being verbally abusive, not yet anyway, just constantly e-mailing me, insisting I sell him the RAW files so he can print them himself. I just can't even fathom selling anyone a RAW file, particularly someone who clearly isn't going to purchase anything from me and is looking for the cheapest option.

    I realize if I don't sell him the files he probably won't buy anything, but it's not about the money at this point. I know I am in the right. He signed the agreement. His wife speaks very little English and I guess she just made the assumption that the $100 fee meant photography AND all the files.

    I even asked him," Didn't it seem odd to you that I would spend two hours photographing your family, spend hours editing proofs, and then give you a CD with 50 high resolution images, all for only $100?" He never answered me on that one.

    I do feel badly because the wife was very sweet, but I can't start pricing my work based upon financial hardship.
     
  6. ironsidephoto

    ironsidephoto TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't give in. It's his mistake, even if his wife is at fault for it. A contract was signed, and you don't have to do anything more--especially since he won't be a repeat. He assumed, and he was wrong--end of story, in my book. Have you been paid anything yet?
     
  7. Lauren Fitzgerald

    Lauren Fitzgerald TPF Noob!

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    He just paid me the sitting fee at the time of his appointment. I'm sure he'll demand that back, too.
     
  8. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm sure that your contract states that this is non-refundable, right?
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you do sell him the files, he definitely won't buy anything. That's the whole reason he wants the files...
     
  10. Lauren Fitzgerald

    Lauren Fitzgerald TPF Noob!

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    Yes, it is very clear the fee is non-refundable.
     
  11. twocolor

    twocolor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It doesn't matter who signed the contract, him or his wife. The deal was made, the contract signed and you kept your end of the bargain.

    DO NOT give your RAW files away.

    Your sitting fee is cheap. You could probably double that and still be under selling yourself.

    He can whine and cry all he wants, you are legally in the right.
     
  12. Lauren Fitzgerald

    Lauren Fitzgerald TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone. You are right. This is just the dose of encouragement I needed, thank you. :)
     

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